The company that gave the world the toasted sandwich wants to give something back to its franchise owners in these troubled times. Quiznos says it will begin renegotiating store leases to match current market values. The company has established teams that will go out and negotiate directly with property owners, at no cost to franchise owners. To date, the company has lowered more than 40 lease payments, with an average reduction of 15-20 percent. “My primary goal as CEO is for franchise owners to say in one year from now they are better off than they are today,” says Quiznos CEO Rick Schaden. Aww. That makes us feel like a Quiznos sub: all warm and toasty.
A chicken ain’t nothin’ but a sandwich. CKE Restaurants, the operator of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants, wants its franchisees to keep marching forward and building new locations, despite the recession. It isn’t clear how the company plans to get franchise owners motivated, but it sounds like it might have a few tricks up its sleeve. “I’m thinking about this year doing an incentive to keep franchisees building,” Chief Executive Officer Andrew Puzder told Bloomberg News. “Something that makes them encouraged instead of scared to invest in their business.” Whatever idea Puzder comes up with, it will probably be a good one. After all, in the nine years he’s been chief executive, CKE’s stock has risen about 60 percent. By comparison, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has fallen some 50 percent during that time.
Hold the pickles. Can’t decide whether you’d rather own a burger joint or a pizzeria? Thanks to Pizza Inn, home of the “bacon cheeseburger pizza,” you can have the best of both worlds. Of course, you still have to find customers willing to eat it. Or how about running a smoothie franchise that promises to pump up customers with muscle mass instead of just plain old fat. Topping the menu is the Bulk Me Up Mega Mass smoothie. SmartMoney magazine has put together a “highly subjective” list of franchises that are currently in the process of recruiting new talent. These many not be the best franchise operations on the planet, but they’re certainly among the most intriguing.
Coffee Beanery Cafe in hot water. Two Coffee Beanery franchisees in Maryland are suing the law firm responsible for preparing the disclosure document they relied on to purchase their franchise. They allege that Coffee Beanery’s legal counsel knew that the Franchise Disclosure Document was in violation of Maryland law because it failed to disclose required information and misstated certain facts. The franchisees are seeking $1.5 million in damages, which they claim they lost in owning and operating their business. Now that’s some expensive coffee.